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Wine, Perfume, and Possibilities

book-launch-relaxed
Author photo by Andrew Amundsen

While Naming the Stars promotion (visits, signings, talks) is only beginning, can you see how relieved this author is  now that the book launch is over? It was well-attended and successful, thanks to the help of my publisher, my wonderful local bookstore, my local newspaper books editor, and my favorite nearby coffee cafe.

Yes, it takes a village to raise an author.

But you do start out in a little remote hut by yourself. That one idea that grew into a full-fledged novel that is now Naming the Stars is the culmination of many other pages and ideas not at all about this book. Random fits and starts litter my big hard drive folder labeled “Prose.” (There’s one for “Poetry” too.) Completed never published novels languish there. A lot of the work in my Prose folder will never see the light of day. But I frequently revisit documents not touched in years – at the moment one of my projects involves harvesting one chapter from an old novel and turning it into a short story.

irisThree to four unfinished novels have not been entirely abandoned. I keep thinking I will get back to them. I may not. Ever.

Two possible sequels to Naming the Stars are not found in the folder yet. I’m excited about an idea for the first sequel — an idea that formed while I was making the final preparations for the launch — preparations that involved a glass or two of white wine, and a spritz of Fragonard Iris perfume.

I’m at the idea stage, remembering what I wrote about while in San Francisco, striving hard to let my inner artist free. I’m rereading that post now, ready to set off on my next writing adventure. Undoubtedly this will require more wine and perfume, more dreaming and, as always, more writing.

 

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Creative Hibernation

I guess you could call it that. For more than several months, possibly a year or more, I’ve been in a state of writer-lethargy, a low-energy subsistence of work-eat-television/internet/screen viewing-sleep.Rainbow

This is not the same as a writer’s block. Novel and stories noodled in my brain, but stayed there, slumbering through a very long, bone-chilling winter where I did nothing more than bundle my writer’s brain up and send it to bed. The ideas needed to stay warm and safe, and keeping them warm and safe meant they needed to be tucked away somewhere for a sunnier day.

Oh there has been plenty of publishing activity, and that is very very good, and I know it is good to be where I am on that front. (By the way, that front includes interest from Hollywood, fingers crossed.)

But you are not a writer unless you actually write, right? (Note to unpublished WRITERS – you are writers, one and all).

So now I have shouted my sleeping writer’s brain awake. WAKE UP, YOU LOSER! And I am writing again.

Further, I have banned the following excuses (i.e., conditions that I required for writing):

  • Writing must be done in certain places  (favorite happy places – like Nina’s Cafe – which now serves WINE). Well, I can pour myself my own glass of G-D wine, which I have at hand at the moment. Of course, Nina’s will continue to be visited.
  • Writing can only be done on weekend mornings when I am awake. HELLO, I can write during other parts of the day, other parts of the week. Don’t be a pathetic lazy bones.
  • Writing needs to be “inspired” – i.e., seat of the pants. Um – I could try an OUTLINE for once? Or, even easier, use an app, such as Scrivener – where I can write here and there, and easily reorganize as I need to. A little organization might allow one to have more than three or four characters in a book. Multiple plot lines. A little more depth. A lot more depth.

Note the pretty rainbow. I painted it myself, yes indeed, sometime in the last few years. It’s not perfect, in fact, it looks childish. I don’t care. Another rule from the list of banished excuses:

  • Stop worrying about perfection. About the word count. About pumping pages out in a minimum amount of time. How about just enjoying the process for once, imperfect as it can be? Have fun with it?

So I’m feeling more joyfully-rainbowish about the whole thing. And that is the point.